County gets organized for busy 2023

HUDSON—Columbia County has laid out its goals for 2023 said Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell at the Board’s organizational meeting January 3. Those goals include fixing a bridge in Livingston and Clermont, upgrading the Department of Social Services Building, and developing a new kitchen for the Office for the Aging.

The state Department of Transportation closed the bridge in June, repair work is going on and the county hopes the bridge will reopen in “early 2024,” Mr. Murell (R-Stockport) added.

Other county 2022 accomplishments he reviewed include:

•Finishing the sewer line from Commerce Park to the Greenport wastewater treatment facility on time and under budget (estimated cost $8.7 million; actual cost $6.8 million)

•Getting “new paving and trash compactors” to to all of the county’s transfer stations

•Completing the PJ Keeler Columbia County Emergency Services Response and Training Center in Commerce Park

•Finalizing the new contract with four unions that represent county workers

•Adopting a 2023 budget that threatens no program and calls for no worker reduction.

At the meeting the supervisors elected, re-elected, appointed, and re-appointed the following individuals to the following positions:

•Mr. Murell as chairman (and county budget officer, and member of the Columbia County Jury Board)

•Supervisor Ron Knott (R-Stuyvesant) as majority leader

•Supervisor Tistrya Houghtling (D-New Lebanon ) as minority leader

•Supervisor Robert Lagonia (R-Austerlitz) to the Fire Advisory Board

•Supervisors Ryan Skoda (R-Taghkanic) and Donal Collins (Chatham) to the Soil and Water Conservation District of Columbia County

•Supervisor Timothy Ooms (R-Kinderhook) to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors

•Kelly S. Baccaro clerk of the board

•County Controller Jim Breig as county corporate compliance officer

•County Treasurer and EMS Coordinator P.J. Keeler, Jr., as a third party administrator of the Columbia County Self-Insured Workers Compensation Benefits Program

•Richard Washburn, Michael Nabozny and Robin Andrews to the county Board of Ethics

•Kelly Miller-Simmons Republican election commissioner

•Erin Stamper Democratic election commissioner, to replace Ken Dow

•Daniel Grandinetti Director of the County Youth Bureau

•Victoria McGahan as Director of Public Health, to replace Jack Mabb, who retired. Mr. Murrell thanked Mr. Mabb for his “outstanding leadership in a most difficult time.”

“I am honored to work with you and for Columbia County,” Mr Murrell said.

He gave a “special thanks” to Ms. Baccaro for her “dedication on behalf of the County Board of Supervisors and the County residents.”

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